Chronic anterior uveitis in children: clinical characteristics and complications

Am J Ophthalmol. 2009 Apr;147(4):667-678.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2008.11.009. Epub 2009 Feb 4.


Purpose: To describe clinical features of chronic anterior uveitis in children at presentation to a referral center (baseline); to identify relationships between demographic, medical, and ophthalmic factors at baseline; and to determine baseline factors that predict new complications and vision loss during follow-up.

Design: Retrospective case series.

Methods: Studied were involved eyes of all children (age < or =16 years at disease onset) with chronic anterior uveitis who were examined by 1 clinician from 1993 through 2006. Cross-sectional analyses compared baseline findings. Relationships between potential risk factors and incident adverse events (new complications, vision loss) were studied by Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazards regression models.

Results: There were 115 patients (200 eyes) who met inclusion criteria. Follow-up (n = 83 patients) ranged from 0.4 to 157.5 months (median, 23.5 months). There were numerous strong relationships between 8 defined complications at baseline in pairwise comparisons. Flare was the inflammatory sign most consistently associated with complications at baseline. Baseline factors that predicted new complications during follow-up included age < or =3 years, elevated cells, elevated flare, keratic precipitates, signs of intermediate uveitis, and papillitis (all P < .043); factors that predicted vision loss included male gender, increased flare, signs of intermediate uveitis, papillitis, and baseline complications (all P < .015). Not related to new complications were presence of juvenile idiopathic uveitis and immunomodulatory therapy.

Conclusion: Chronic anterior uveitis in children is associated with various vision-threatening complications that occur in combinations. Complications develop early in the disease course. Patients with more severe disease at presentation are at increased risk of additional adverse events.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Uveitis, Anterior / complications*
  • Uveitis, Anterior / diagnosis*
  • Uveitis, Anterior / drug therapy
  • Vision Disorders / etiology
  • Young Adult


  • Immunosuppressive Agents